Via Boing Boing, is an article about ultra-fresh octopus food that makes me feel sick:
I know, I know — to each, his own eats. But this video of freshly-offed octopus on a restaurant table in Korea made me squirm more than the tentacles therein.
I have to draw one of my own boundaries there. There are plenty of culturally appropriate practices that I don’t agree with both in my own culture and in others, but that I recognize as being culturally appropriate in context. But, the dismemberment of live animals and then chewing on their still wriggling flesh, even animals that are as gross as mollusks, is too much.
If an octopus can figure out how to twist off a jar lid merely by watching another do it, don’t you imagine that means a capacity for not just physical suffering but also a capacity for mental agony and horror and pain and suffering?
I joke about the alien intelligences of the evil octopus conspiracy, but this is no joke. It’s something that merely the idea of causes me anguish, and if merely the thought is enough then just how much worse must it be for these animals?
I feel privileged and full of joy at being able to make food choices that minimize the suffering of living creatures with nervous systems, even the gross ones.